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They died to save others...

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  • They died to save others...

    They died to save others
    2 Marines averted a suicide
    bomber, saving more than 50 lives. Now, posthumously, they’ll be awarded the Navy Cross

    By Trista Talton
    [email protected]
    ACKSONVILLE, N.C. — Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter and Cpl. Jonathan Yale jumped in front of the 20-foot tanker truck — speeding toward the checkpoint they were manning in Ramadi, Iraq — and opened fire.
    As Iraqi policemen ran away, the Marines stood firm like quar­terbacks in the pocket, pumping the Mercedes truck full of bul­lets. The truck slowed, and its driver detonated 2,000 pounds of explosives.
    The truck’s target was a joint security station, manned by dozens of fellow Marines and Iraqi police officers. They all lived to tell about the events of that April 22, 2008, morning.
    Haerter and Yale, who never stopped firing, did not. Their six seconds of unabashed bravery will be honored with posthumous awards of the Navy Cross, the nation’s second-highest award for combat valor.
    A security camera, damaged in the blast, captured the attack that ended the lives of two rifle­men who had just met. One was just days from returning home. The other was less than a month into his deployment, learning the ropes about manning checkpoints.
    Haerter loved history
    Haerter, 19, arrived in Ramadi in March with 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, a Camp Lejeune, N.C.­based infantry unit making its first Iraq deployment since being reactivated in 2007. The battal­ion, famously nicknamed “The Walking Dead” during Vietnam, was one Haerter knew about long before he was assigned to that unit.
    He was honored to be part of it, said his father, Christian Haert­er. Growing up in Sag Harbor, N.Y., a small village of roughly 2,800 residents on eastern Long Island, Haerter was keen on studying U.S. and military history.
    He looked forward to Hal­loween, using it as an opportuni­ty to dress up in various military uniforms. One Halloween, he re­searched buttons sewn on Revo­lutionary War uniforms at the local library to make sure the costume he planned to wear was historically accurate, according to a Web site created in his honor.
    Haerter took flying lessons, completing his first solo at 16. His family was surprised at the decision to join the Corps, ex­pecting him instead to choose the Air Force.
    “He felt it was the biggest chal­lenge,” Christian Haerter said. “It was the hardest service. It was the most respected.” At 17, Haerter ’s parents signed for him to join.
    They didn’t want their only son to think they didn’t support his decision.
    Haerter shipped off to boot camp after graduating high school in 2006. He shined early on in his short military career, earning an expert shooting badge as a recruit at Marine Corps Re­cruit Depot Parris Island, S.C.
    Again, he surprised his parents.
    “When he was growing up, we were the type of parents who were ‘No, you can’t play with re­alistic looking guns,’” Christian Haerter said.
    He’d tease his son about set­ting the bar high so early. But the words didn’t shake his confidence.
    “When I envision him in Rama­di that morning, I can only imag­ine the person driving that truck and how he made one huge mis­take,” Christian Haerter said. “What’s amazing is it doesn’t sur­prise me at all what [Jordan] did and that he has been awarded this medal. That’s the type of person he was. He would defi­nitely never put himself first. That split-second decision he made, he knew what he had to do. I’m sure that he did not hesitate.” The decision Haerter and Yale made, to stop the enemy at all costs, is credited with saving more than 50 lives that morning. But their actions also cut short plans to finish their time in the Corps and move on to other things.
    In one of his final letters to his father, Haerter wrote that he wanted to go back to Sag Harbor, join the police force there, retire with a nice pension and take over his father ’s water filtration business.
    Yale was due home soon
    Yale, 21, had his sights set on college. Growing up in Meherrin, Va., Yale loved theater. He want­ed to study theater and dramatic arts, according to his MySpace page.
    He was due home in less than a month with Lejeune’s 2nd Bat­talion, 8th Marines when the sui­cide bomb took his life.
    “I’m starting a paintball team when I get home if anyone wants to join…” he wrote.
    Yale described himself as “one of the most kind-hearted people you’ll ever meet. I’m a breeze to get along with and there’s not much I don’t enjoy.” Attempts to reach Yale’s family were unsuccessful.
    An award ceremony for both Marines is tentatively planned for February at Camp Lejeune. It’s an event Christian Haerter said his unassuming son would likely rather not attend.
    “I think he’d be totally hum­bled to almost the point of being embarrassed at the light being shown on him,” his father said.
    “I think he would want to make it clear that what he did is within every Marine and there’s thou­sands of guys out there that, put into that same situation, would do what they had to do to save everybody else.” Ë

    ...And shephards we shall be. For thee my lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee. And teeming with souls shall it ever be. E Nomini Patri, E Fili, E Spiritu Sancti.

  • #2
    today in history

    I have to say as an Indigenous American it has been a long long time since I have had hope for my people, the true first people of the USA.
    Today I can no longer hold back the tears. I see hope, I see the chance of an Indigenous American one day taking office. I see the possiblity of change not only for the Indigenous but for all USA. Reaching out for the first time in ages to others of all beliefs of all world nations. Today I proudly will wear a Feather for Obama. I proudly wear what I though I could not no longer take pride in. Being An American, being a decendant of men of honor who founded this land to day I dedicate it to Cochise my great great grandfather, Geronimo my great grandfather and my beloved grandmother Osa Osa Natchuma Cochise who taught me to embrass all my nationalities not just the Chiricahua Apache one but the German Jew. Today is dedicated to all my family who did not make it out alive of the holocost. To my mother who suffered in the camps as a child.
    Today is a day I will hold dear to my heart.
    Today is History
    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    I have a dream today!

    I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

    I have a dream today!

    I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

    Today The first steps of that dream came true

    My father was a demolations expert in WWII was a part of the code talker no he was not Navajo but he could speak it.
    Today is also for him and all service men/ women who fought and fight for our land this country.


    • #3
      NAVY CROSS...Semper Fi...Ole 1/9...I remember them when they was with us @ Pendleton...The Walking Dead...some of my Bros were in that BN....and some in 2/9...ole Hell in a Helmet.

      Striking Ninth!!!
      R.I.P. my Bros from the 1st MAR DIV, 3rd MAR DIV, 25th I.D., 10th MTN DIV, V Corps, 170th IBCT who gave their lives in the Cold War, Marines we lost in Korea during Team Spirit '89 & Okinawa '89- bodies never recovered, Panama, 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq...


      • #4
        Oh wow....RIP and kudos to the fallen.


        • #5
          The ultimate warriors made the ultimate sacrifice. The evil scum in that truck made the ultimate error: they faced United States Marines and said, "I challenge you."

          God bless the fallen. Semper Fi.
          "Friends don't let friends drink decaf..."
          Wakalapi's $49 unlimited phone service


          • #6

            HONOR TO
            Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter and Cpl. Jonathan Yale

            "Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is." JW


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